PHUKET: British national Lee Aldhouse admitted in court today that he was afraid to fight the premeditated murder charges he faces for the slaying of former US Marine Dashawn Longfellow in 2010. Nonetheless, the confessed killer entered a plea of "not guilty" in front of a judge at the Phuket Provincial Court.
“I am afraid to fight the case. I heard that if I plead guilty, my penalty will be commuted,” Aldhouse told the judge.
“Do not listen to anyone. Listen to me. I am telling you to stick with the truth,” the judge replied.
Aldhouse recounted to the court his version of the night’s events that led to the death of Mr Longfellow. And though Aldhouse did confess to the judge that he killed the 23-year-old American Marine, he maintained that he did not have the premeditated intention of murder.
Aldhouse faces charges of premeditated murder under Section 288 of the Thai Criminal Code. The penalty for that charge is death or a term of imprisonment of 15 to 20 years, Tawan Sukyiran, the public prosecutor assigned to the case, confirmed to the Phuket Gazette
However, Mr Tawan explained that his understanding was that the death penalty would not be considered as an option in the sentencing if Aldhouse were found guilty, as he had already confessed to stabbing Mr Longfellow.
Aldhouse, also known by his kickboxing nickname “The Pitbull”, fled Thailand on August 17, 2010, three days after the slaying of Mr Longfellow. He was arrested by British authorities upon arrival at Heathrow Airport, London, on an unrelated charge.
The British national is the first person to be extradited from the UK to Thailand in more than 100 years, according to Col Wichit Intorrasorn from Provincial Police Region 8.
Aldhouse is not due to be presented in court again until August, he will remain in the custody of the Phuket Provincial Prison until then.